Our District Magazine Networker features stories about the latest Rotary events, projects and news from across Rotary District 9800 and beyond. Click on any of the past issues below.
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Each new Rotary year all Rotarians confirm their commitment to Rotary’s official motto of ‘Service above Self’ and there is a different theme to provide a new focus and inspiration to support the work of Rotarians. Every Rotary year builds on the year before it and is a base for the next. The District Changeover lunch on 26 June from Julie Mason to me was a wonderful occasion and demonstrated the close working relationship of our Governor train, which ensures consistency in the implementation of the District strategic plan and the support provided to our clubs.
Three years ago my life changed considerably when I was selected to be a District Governor in Rotary. People often wonder how the process of selection works and indeed it seems that in our District past and current leaders take it upon themselves to approach people they believe will do a good job! After two years of such approaches I decided to nominate and secured the support from the members of the most amazing Club, Wyndham Rotary. A rigorous selection process conducted by a panel of seven past District and Club leaders determined that this country girl who still goes to school would be a District Governor in the largest District in Australia.
Posted as an opportunity to Connect with Korea - Touch the World, this year's Rotary International Convention was a wonderful cultural experience of Korean people, an opportunity to understand their hopes for peace and bring together thousands of visiting Rotarians and their families from all corners of the globe united in the global theme of service.
A lovely and pertinent saying is that ”It takes a village to raise a child” and I am convinced that our work in Rotary plays a significant role in creating opportunities for children to thrive and become caring, thoughtful citizens of the world.
For the past forty three years I have spent my professional career working with young people and over time I have come to appreciate their ideas, initiative and passion that usually results in positive results for other young people or those in need. It was an honour to see the charter of the first EarlyAct Club in District 9800 at Baden Powell College. Whilst Interact is a Rotary International endorsed program, EarlyAct does not enjoy that status and perhaps that should change.
BusyFeet is an activity designed to create a special place for children with disabilities through dance and music. Everyone is respected for their individual
ability, with ‘one on one’ support offered with entrance by Voluntary Gold Coin.
BusyFeet Stonnington began in February 2012 and has proven a great success.
BusyFeet is now a District Endorsed project of the Rotary Club of Chadstone East Malvern and has a Multi Club District Committee.
The Conference Themes of Our Youth Our Future, Golden Rotary Moments, Joined up Partnerships and Innovative Leadership set the direction for some memorable speakers and in turn some thought provoking messages.
You know I remember vividly one morning when I woke up, turned on the tap in the shower and …no water. Down stairs to see what might be happening outside only to find many neighbours already there discussing the impact of the situation! We couldn’t fill the kettle to make a cup of tea, no shower today, no washing of clothes or the car! Disaster had struck in this part of our world, and then of course the water began to flow freely again. Once you stop and reflect we are so very lucky compared to others in other parts of our world.
As I sit and type, I see that it is less than a month until over 900 people come together in Bendigo for our District Conference. Given all the time taken in planning, and the cost of running this event I do reflect on the value if there is not a point of difference or challenge in the content of the Conference. For those attending we intend to be a little provocative, forward looking, musical, technological and add… Fun Inspiration Relevance Education….FIRE to your life.
In this week’s Networker, we bring you a highlight of Rotary’s efforts towards Peace.
There are many ways as Rotarians that we can engage peace, not only on the world stage, but also within our communities; to find new ways of connecting with individuals and organisations and to find solutions to the challenges and differences of opinions that we often have.
I know many of you are enjoying a well-deserved break, and I hope nobody got silly or sick since the last Rotary meeting. But our reporting stalwarts have been working their keyboards to death to entertain you with the first “Networker” of 2016.
David Dippie, Matthew Scott, and Tony Thomas: you are paragons! Where would we be without your contributions?
Adrian Nelson sent us lots of photos of busy Rotarians doing what they do best. I know other clubs have been active too, so please send in some nice action shots: they may be suitable for the “Rotarian” Photo Contest.
But I particularly enjoyed Tony’s article on Rotary Friendship Groups, as I have a friend who went hot-air ballooning in Cappodocia, in Turkey. She said it was the best (and scariest) thing she had ever done, and that those Fairy Chimneys were the weirdest things ever! So think about a Rotary Friendship Exchange for your next trip.
Back to work now for everyone: let’s set our eyes on Bendigo for the 2016 Conference. Remember, as DG Julie said: ”You’ll never ever know, if you never ever go . . . .”
Ta-ta for now: Clarice.
“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
In the olden days people died through starvation, a lack of cleanliness and medical knowledge. Now we have plenty of food, we wash our hands with soap, go to the doctor when ill and use all sorts of technology to diagnose and treat conditions that effect our quality of life. However in the western world our desire to live longer and better, has created life threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, Diabetes, cancer and coronary heart disease.
So, is there really a role for Rotary in disease prevention and treatment and will we as Rotarians live long and healthy lives to enable us to take on such a role?
There is a great range of stories, from pirates to pop-up fashion. We reprint an article from The Local News about Daylesford’s French exchange student Cassandra Esquerré and we celebrate some recent big events for clubs, including Woodend’s Halloween Festival, Yarra Bend’s Emergency Service Awards, and the Chadstone Craft Market.
The Rotary Foundation can be seen as the most magnificent means to an end. Such foresight was shown at the 1917 Rotary convention, by the outgoing Rotary International President Arch C. Klumph when he proposed to set up an endowment for the purpose of “doing good in the world”, with money that was unspent.
I guess there is no disputing the obvious link between literacy and economic and community development. This is often seen in a most profound and life changing way in developing countries, and I must say that my experience in Cambodia changed my life. I found it interesting though, to hear about a project initiated by the Rotary Club of Footscray in February 2013 in partnership with The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. The receipt of a Foundation District Grant facilitated this project and the good work continues.
As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Indonesian invasion of Portuguese Timor, it is timely to reflect on the story of the small community of Balibo’, close to the Indonesian border. Balibo’s story is closely linked to Australia as it was there on 16th October 1975, that Indonesian troops killed 5 Australian war-journalists, the ‘Balibo 5’. The young men had taken the precaution of painting Australian flags on the façade of the house but this proved futile as the troops had specific orders to kill them. For the next 25 years Timor endured a bitter and at times brutal military occupation. In 1999, Indonesia withdrew, but in the process the nation’s infrastructure was destroyed, thousands of people were killed and many more displaced. In Balibo, 11 young men were killed and the town set on fire.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says: Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
In this year of being A Gift to the World we have a second District Vocational Training Team that will provide training in early literacy to over 160 teachers who work in remote village schools around Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in January 2016.
My profession as an educator for over forty years enables me to say with absolute certainty that if we do not teach our children to read by seven years of age, they are at risk of underachieving for life. A big statement but none the less true!
In the Rotary world August is Membership Month but I say that every day is membership day! Now why would I say that? Well, I love all that Rotary stands for, has done, and can do and I know that once others know what I know they will want to join our Rotary movement.
And so a new Rotary Year begins, a new theme, a time to reflect on achievements, maintain successful programs and projects, and embrace new ideas. After a wonderful District Changeover Dinner on the 27th of June Murray Verso handed over the Chains of Office to me and there is no great weight of dreaded responsibility, rather a sense of excitement and optimism as we continue to serve our local and world community in the name of Rotary. Murray and all Past District Governors have contributed time, energy, inspiration and quite amazing outcomes that define our Rotary District 9800. It is a delight to have so many mentors to call upon as I embrace the role as your District Governor.